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Start this top-notch mystery series

Be sure to check out the first book in her new series, too! (see Looking for Ona below!)

Quiet The Dead: A Promise McNeal Mystery (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 1)Quiet The Dead: A Promise McNeal Mystery (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 1) $0.99

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What readers say about Quiet The Dead... 
“… everything a Southern mystery should be…beautifully written…Dr. Promise McNeal is a wonderful character…great story…”

Mark de Castrique, author of the Sam Blackman Mysteries, writes, “Quiet The Dead will keep you guessing until the final, surprising revelation.”

Book one of the not-so-cozy Promise McNeal Mystery series introduces retired psychologist and Atlanta transplant to the Western North Carolina Mountains, Promise McNeal, who doesn’t believe in coincidences. Promise believes the universe always has a plan, and sometimes that plan may include messages from the dearly, or not so dearly, departed. Just how her dream of a hanged woman dangling over a creek fits into that plan, she isn’t sure. But when she accepts a lucrative consulting job from her fair-weather friend, Atlanta attorney Garland Wang, she has a sense she’s about to find out. Garland says the assignment is a piece of cake, though, as usual, Garland is selective in sharing information and Promise finds herself digging into something that isn’t at all like cake. 

But dig she does. After all, her nest egg has hatched and flown with the four winds since her move to the mountains and Garland pays well. She’s also more than curious about who killed the wealthy socialite, Stella Tournay, and why Stella haunts her dreams. But then, as Promise is within a hand’s grasp of unraveling the truth about Stella’s death and a shocking secret about the Tournay fortune, another murder pushes her into the darkness with only her intuition as armor and clues from a murdered woman as weapons.

Quiet Killing (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 2)Quiet Killing (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 2) $3.99

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Amateur North Carolina sleuth (and psychic) Promise McNeal just can't seem to get a good night’s sleep—someone’s always haunting her dreams. Lately it's been her great grandfather, January McNeal, and who disobeys their great grandfather?
So she delves back into family history, but when she finds grave robbery in there, she has second thoughts. 

Then evil comes knocking. 

First someone burns her barn, then the contractor she hires to rebuild it is murdered, nearly at her back door. More fires lead her to a mysterious abandoned child who seems an unlikely arsonist. And an even more unlikely murderer. Meanwhile her flirtation with sexy fiddler Daniel has blossomed into a full-blown love affair, a good thing since she can use his help (and that of his semi-Goth daughter Susan) when the child disappears in freezing weather. So a rescue’s afoot, as well as a race towards the kind of secret that makes people kill.

North Carolina ambience, a dash of romance, and a rollicking chase through history make this cozy mystery sing!

The fiftyish Promise is an attractive new female sleuth who’s sure to appeal to fans of cozies, especially those by Julia Spencer-Fleming and Louise Penny, and those with a light sprinkling of psychic suspense; admirers of amateur sleuths and their close sisters female private investigators; readers of supernatural suspense and psychic detective fiction of all sorts; and especially to fans of other great North Carolina mystery authors like Margaret Maron, Barbara Neely, Elizabeth Daniels Squire, and Vicki Lane.

Quiet Hearts (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 3)Quiet Hearts (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 3) $2.99

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Trouble in paradise… 

Retired Atlanta psychologist and transplant to the North Carolina Mountains, Promise McNeal, her fiancé Daniel Allen, and his intrepid, restaurateur daughter Susan, travel to St. Simons and Jekyll Island, Georgia, in search of the perfect wedding venue and a few days of sunshine and surf. What they find on the warm beaches of the Golden Isles is evil dressed in a summer tuxedo, a cursed Chinese chair washed ashore when a German submarine torpedoed a tanker near Jekyll in 1942, the ruthlessly ambitious talk show hostess Aileen Wang, and a seventy year old mystery determined to rise from the coastal fog. 

Then the wedding party gathers and someone tries to kill Aileen Wang, leaving her fighting for her life. Reluctantly, Promise agrees to help solve the mystery of who shot Aileen. And why? But before Promise connects the clues to expose the would-be assassin lurking in the Spanish moss draped graveyard, two other party-goers are killed. Now the game changes and Promise is hunting for a cold-bloodied murderer.

Can Promise identify the killer among the smartly dressed island visitors? And what connects the killer to Aileen Wang and a murder on Jekyll Island that happened before Aileen was born? Stir in a screaming cougar seen prowling the foggy island by night, plus a gun-toting senior citizen named Betty Wu, and Promise will need to gather her wits and Southern grit to catch the killer before he strikes again.

Quiet Road to Murder: A Promise McNeal Mystery (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 4)Quiet Road to Murder: A Promise McNeal Mystery (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 4) $2.99

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What readers say about Quiet Road to Murder …
“…a compelling tale of intrigue, murder, and spiritual connection...” Vince Milam, author of the Case Lee Hard-boiled Mysteries.

In the 4th Promise McNeal Mystery, set in Western North Carolina, It’s been seven months since Daniel’s cousin Sheriff Mac Allen was murdered. Daniel accepted the job as interim sheriff with hopes of finding Mac’s killer. But he has few clues until Promise’s irascible neighbor Fletcher Enloe stumbles upon a puzzling mining operation near Swayback Mountain and he realizes an old Vietnam buddy may not be dead after all. While Daniel and Fletcher spend a long, cold night watching the mining site from a rotted deer stand, high in an oak tree, Promise worries about Daniel and wonders how her new marriage became so different from what she’d imagined. She hadn’t signed on to be a sheriff’s wife, or to solve a murder. But she doesn’t want Mac’s killer to skate free either, so in she jumps to piece together a puzzle to find the killer. Besides, didn’t the wedding vows say for better or for worse?
Then up jumps the devil and worse it gets when MaMa Allen tells Promise a spirit haunting Fire Mountain is prowling among the living and Promise’s stepdaughter Susan is in danger. As Promise reluctantly sets a trap for the spirit, a frightening thunder snow moves across Perry County and the hunted becomes the hunter, exposing just how vulnerable Susan is, and how wicked a lost soul can be.
Meanwhile, another murder and a familiar red motorcycle finally give Promise and Daniel clues to Mac’s murderer. That is, if he and his deputies can survive the blinding thunder snow and the killer’s deadly game of catch-me-if- you-can.

From readers of other Promise McNeal Mysteries “...a wonderfully intricate and satisfying read…everything a Southern mystery should be…once again, James has delivered…”

Quiet Evil: A Promise McNeal Mystery (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 5)Quiet Evil: A Promise McNeal Mystery (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 5) $2.99

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Tarot cards, a trapeze artist who doesn’t age, and a magician who really can disappear…

In the fifth Promise McNeal mystery, set in the Western North Carolina Mountains, Promise’s psychic abilities prickle when Little People of America’s past president, Dick Jest, stocks up on Cuban cigars and drives his Winnebago from Florida to build an academy for circus performers on the site of an abandoned amusement park. When the magician’s assistant is murdered in a dilapidated tram car, the dramatic, Czech trapeze artist, Ruta, draws Promise into the mystery with a strange Tarot Card deck---which she insists she’s held for Promise since 1939---and a bizarre story of the magician Reznik and the Old Towne Clock in Prague. Promise’s husband, Perry County Sheriff Daniel Allen, is determined to go with the facts of the case, but when they meet the other members of Jest’s circus family, Daniel realizes no one is who they seem, and the facts are masked in past violence and lies. Though, as the murder goes unsolved, Promise is haunted by nightmares and struggles with an elusive illness, she and Daniel are determined to bring the murderer to justice. Fact by fact, they narrow the field of suspects until another death at the academy forces them to reconsider Ruta’s wild stories and think like the killer, if they are to catch him before he disappears for good.

Quiet Fury (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 6)Quiet Fury (Promise McNeal Mysteries Book 6) $2.99

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2019 KIller Nashville Silver Falchion Award Finalist.

Evil Magician, Reznik the Magnificent, returns…

Retired psychologist and Atlanta transplant to the North Carolina Mountains, Dr. Promise McNeal, hasn’t had a good night’s sleep since Reznik whispered he’d be waiting for her and then disappeared. Now, months after Reznik vanished, security cameras in the shadowy, underground corridors of Asheville’s two-hundred-and-fifty-room Biltmore Mansion catch Reznik on video. He’s back and he’s on the move. But what, or who, is he searching for?

Promise’s husband, Sheriff Daniel Allen, is on the hunt to find Reznik but he has troubles of his own. A man who Promise’s neighbor, the eccentric Fletcher Enloe, says “needed killing” is murdered. Arson is suspected when wildfires break out on the mountain slopes. And, as if that weren’t enough to make Daniel wish he’d thought twice about running for sheriff, an unidentified body is discovered in a shallow grave on Forest Service land, and Daniel is certain the Forest Ranger is lying when he insists he knows nothing about the dead man. 

While Promise keeps a lookout for Reznik, and helps Daniel solve the mystery of who buried the old man in a shallow grave, Reznik plays puppet master to a strange girl sent to steal a secret Promise doesn’t know she possesses. Then, as the mountain winter brings snow and freezing temperatures, Promise is caught between the girl, the magician's evil obsession, and the restless spirits of Fire Mountain as they awake to protect what’s theirs.


Be sure to check out the first book in his new series, too!

Looking For Ona (The Beyond Mysteries Book 1)  $2.99

Welcome to Beyond, where the gravestones have no birth dates, and the residents are dying… A new series from the author of the popular Promise McNeal Mysteries…

Looking For Ona introduces Paula Vega, whose plan for surviving Atlanta’s brutal summer is to complete her latest steamy romance novel, send it to her editor, and camp out by the pool. Then her best friend, comic strip illustrator Ben Faraday, shows her a cryptic video staring his mother, who happens to be Paula’s editor, and pool lounging is off the table.

Instead, Paula and Ben drive to the North Carolina Mountains searching for a town on Lake Tuckahee where—after seventy years of being underwater—a mysterious island is rising, and the truth about a relative who died from not-so-natural causes. But before Paula and Ben can uncover the truth, they find that asking questions can be a dangerous pastime.